Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Poetical works, including poems and versions of poems herein published for the first time, edited with textual and bibliographical notes online

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The winds breathe hollow, deemed the plaining groan

Of prisoned spirits ; with such fearful voice

Night murmured, and the sound through Chaos went. 310

Leaped at her call her hideous-fronted brood !

A dark behest they heard, and rushed on earth ;

Since that sad hour, in Camps and Courts adored,

Rebels from God, and Tyrants o'er Mankind ! '

From his obscure haunt 315

Shrieked Fear, of Cruelty the ghastly Dam,
Feverous yet freezing, eager-paced yet slow,
As she that creeps from forth her swampy reeds,
Ague, the biform Hag ! when early Spring
Beams on the marsh-bred vapours. 320

300 dew-damp] dew-damps 4. 314 Tyrants] Monarchs 4, Sibyllins

Leaves, 1828, 1829.

Between lines 314 and 315 of the text, the text of the original version
(after line 259 of Joan of Arc, Book II) continues :

' These are the fiends that o'er thy native land 260

Spread Guilt and Horror. Maid belov'd of Heaven !

Dar'st thou inspir'd by the holy flame of Love

Encounter such fell shapes, nor fear to meet

Their wrath, their wiles? O Maiden dar'st thou die?'

' Father of Heaven ! I will not fear,' she said, 265

'My arm is weak, but mighty is thy sword.'

She spake and as she spake the trump was heard

That echoed ominous o'er the streets of Rome,

When the first Caesar totter'd o'er the grave

By Freedom delv'd : the Trump, whose chilling blast 270

On Marathon and on Plataea's plain

Scatter' d the Persian. From his obscure haunt, &c.

[Lines 267-72, She spake . . . the Persian, are claimed by Southey.]

316 Shriek'd Fear the ghastliest of Ambition's throng 4. 317

Feverous] Fev'rish 4, Sibylline Leaves, 1817, 1828, 1829.


' Even so (the exulting Maiden said)
The sainted Heralds of Good Tidings fell,
And thus they witnessed God ! But now the clouds
Treading, and storms beneath their feet, they soar
Higher, and higher soar, and soaring sing 335

Loud songs of triumph ! O ye Spirits of God,
Hover around my mortal agonies ! '
She spake, and instantly faint melody
Melts on her ear, soothing and sad, and slow,
Such measures, as at calmest midnight heard 330

By ag6d Hermit in his holy dream,
Foretell and solace death ; and now they rise
Louder, as when with harp and mingled voice
The white-robed multitude of slaughtered saints
At Heaven's wide-open'd portals gratulant 335

Receive some martyred patriot. The harmony '
Entranced the Maid, till each suspended sense
Brief slumber seized, and confused ecstasy.

1 Rev. vi. 9, 11 : And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under
the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God and
for the Testimony which they held. And white robes were given unto
every one of them ; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet
for a little Season, until their fellow-servants also, and their brethren
that should be killed, as they were, should be fulfilled.

Between lines 320 and 321 of the text, the text of Joan of Arc, Book II,
continues :

' Lo she goes !

To Orleans lo ! she goes the mission'd Maid !
The Victor Hosts wither beneath her arm 1
And what are Crecy, Poictiers, Azincour 280

But noisy echoes in the ear of Pride ? '
Ambition heard and startled on his throne ;
But strait a smile of savage joy illum'd
His grisly features, like the sheety Burst

Of Lightning o'er the awaken'd midnight clouds 285

Wide flash'd. [For lo ! a naming pilo reflects
Its red light fierce and gloomy on the face
Of SUPERSTITION and her goblin Son
Loud-laughing CRUELTY, who to the stake

A female fix'd, of bold and beauteous mien, 290

Her snow-white Limbs by iron fetters bruis'd
Her breast expos'd.] JOAN saw, she saw and knew
Her perfect image. Nature thro' her frame
One pang shot shiv'ring ; but, that frail pang soon
Dismiss' d, ' Even so, &c. 4.

[The passage included in brackets was claimed by Southey. ]
330 calmest] calmy 4.


At length awakening alow, she gazed around :
And through a mist, the relict of that trance 340

Still thinning as she gazed, an Isle appeared,
Its high, o'er-hanging, white, broad-breasted cliffs,
Glassed on the subject ocean. A vast plain
Stretched opposite, where ever and anon
The plough-man following sad his meagre team 345

Turned up fresh sculls unstartled, and the bones
Of fierce hate-breathing combatants, who there
All mingled lay beneath the common earth,
Death's gloomy reconcilement ! O'er the fields
Stept a fair Form, repairing all she might, 350

Her temples olive-wreathed ; and where she trod,
Fresh flowerets rose, and many a foodful herb.
But wan her cheek, her footsteps insecure,
And anxious pleasure beamed in her faint eye,
As she had newly left a couch of pain, 355

Pale Convalescent ! (Yet some time to rule
With power exclusive o'er the willing world,
That blessed prophetic mandate then fulfilled
Peace be on Earth !) An happy while, but brief,
She seemed to wander with assiduous feet, 360

And healed the recent harm of chill and blight,
And nursed each plant that fair and virtuous grew.

But soon a deep precursive sound moaned hollow :
Black rose the clouds, and now, (as in a dream)
Their reddening shapes, transformed to Warrior-hosts, 365
Coursed o'er the sky, and battled in mid-air.
Nor did not the large blood-drops fall from Heaven
Portentous ! while aloft were seen to float,
Like hideous features looming on the mist,
Wan stains of ominous light ! Resigned, yet sad, 370

The fair Form bowed her olive-crowned brow,
Then o'er the plain with oft-reverted eye

339-40 But lo ! no more was seen the ice-pil'd inouut

And meteor-lighted dome. An Isle appear'd 4.
342 white] rough 4. 361 and] or 4.

366-7 The Sea meantime his Billows darkest roll'd,

And each stain'd wave dash'd on the shore a corse. 4".
369-72 His hideous features blended with the mist,

The long black locks of SLAUGHTER. PEACE beheld

And o'er the plain 4.

369 Like hideous features blended with the clouds Sibylline Leaves, 1817.
(Errata : for ' blended' , &c., read ' looming on the mist'. S. L., p. [xii].)


Fled till a place of Tombs she reached, and there
Within a ruined Sepulchre obscure
Found hiding-place.

The delegated Maid 375

Gazed through her tears, then in sad tones exclaimed ;
' Thou mild-eyed Form ! wherefore, ah ! wherefore fled ?
The Power of Justice like a name all light,
Shone from thy brow; but all they, who unblamed
Dwelt in thy dwellings, call thee Happiness. 380

Ah ! why, uninjured and unprofited,
Should multitudes against their brethren rush?
Why sow they guilt, still reaping misery?
Lenient of care, thy songs, O Peace! are sweet, 1
As after showers the perfumed gale of eve,
That flings the cool drops on a feverous cheek;
And gay thy grassy altar piled with fruits.
But boasts the shrine of Daemon War one charm, 2
Save that with many an orgie strange and foul, s
Dancing around with interwoven arms, 3'J

The Maniac Suicide and Giant Murder
Exult in their fierce union ! I am sad,
And know not why the simple peasants crowd
Beneath the Chieftains' standard!' Thus the Maid.

To her the tutelary Spirit said : 395

'When Luxury and Lust's exhausted stores
No more can rouse the appetites of kings ;
When the low flattery of their reptile lords
Falls flat and heavy on the accustomed ear;
When eunuchs sing, and fools buffoonery make, 4

And dancers writhe their harlot-limbs in vain ;
Then War and all its dread vicissitudes
Pleasingly agitate their stagnant hearts ;

1 A grievous defect here in tlie rhyme recalling assonance of Peace,
sweet eve, cheek. Better thus :

Sweet are thy Songs. O Peace ! lenient of care.

S. T. C., 1823.

s 388-93 Southeyan. To be omitted. S. T. C., 1S28.
3 A vile line [foul is underlined]. S. T. C., 1S28.

378-9 The name of JUSTICE written on thy brow

Resplendent shone 4, S. L. 1817.

(The reading of the text is given as an emendation in the Errata,
Sibylline Leaves, 1817, p. [xii].)

386 That plays around the sick man's throbbing temples 4. 394

Chieftains'] Chieftain's 4. 395 said J replied 4, S. L., 1828,


Its hopes, its fears, its victories, its defeats,

Insipid Royalty's keen condiment ! 405

Therefore uninjured and unprofited

(Victims at once and executioners),

The congregated Husbandmen lay waste

The vineyard and the harvest. As along

The Bothnic coast, or southward of the Line, 4 TO

Though hushed the winds and cloudless the high noon,

Yet if Leviathan, weary of ease,

In sports unwieldy toss his island-bulk,

Ocean behind him billows, and before

A storm of waves breaks foamy on the strand. 415

And hence, for times and seasons bloody and dark,

Short Peace shall skiu the wounds of causeless War,

And War, his strained sinews knit anew,

Still violate the unfinished works of Peace.

But yonder look ! for more demands thy view ! ' 420

He said : and straightway from the opposite Isle

A vapour sailed, as when a cloud, exhaled

From Egypt's fields that steam hot pestilence,

Travels the sky for many a trackless league,

Till o'er some death-doomed land, distant in vain, 435

It broods incumbent. Forthwith from the plain,

Facing the Isle, a brighter cloud arose,

And steered its course which way the vapour went.

The Maiden paused, musing what this might mean.

Between lines 421 and 423 of the text, the text of Joan of Arc, Book II,
inserts :

A Vapor rose, pierc'd by the MAIDEN'S eye.
Guiding its course OPPRESSION sate within,*
With terror pale and rage, yet laugh'd at times
Musing on Vengeance : trembled in )iis hand
A Sceptre fiercely-grasp'd. O'er Ocean westward
The Vapor sail'd 4.

* These images imageless", these Small-Capitals constituting themselves
Personifications, I despised even at that time ; but was forced to
introduce them, to preserve the connection with the machinery of the
Poem, previously adopted by Southey. S. T. C.

After 429 of the text, the text of Joan of Arc inserts :

ENVY sate guiding ENVY, hag-abhorr'd !

Like JUSTICE mask'd, and doom'd to aid the fight 410

Victorious 'gainst oppression. Hush'd awhile 4 n .

[These lines were assigned by Coleridge to Southey.]


But long time passed not, ere that brighter cloud 430

Returned more bright ; along the plain it swept ;

And soon from forth its bursting sides emerged

A dazzling form, broad-bosomed, bold of eye,

And wild her hair, save where with laurels bound.

Not more majestic stood the healing God, 1 435

When from his bow the arrow sped that slew

Huge Python. Shriek'd Ambition's giant throng,

And with them hissed the locust-fiends that crawled

And glittered in Corruption's slimy track.

Great was their wrath, for short they knew their reign ; 440

And such commotion made they, and uproar,

As when the mad Tornado bellows through

The guilty islands of the western main,

What time departing from their native shores, 2

Eboe, or Koromantyn : s plain of palms, 445

The infuriate spirits of the murdered make

Fierce merriment, and vengeance ask of Heaven.

Warmed with new influence, the unwholesome plaiu

Sent up its foulest fogs to meet the morn :

The Sun that rose on Freedom, rose in Blood ! 450

' Maiden beloved, and Delegate of Heaven !
(To her the tutelary Spirit said)
Soon shall the Morning struggle into Day,
The stormy Morning into cloudless Noon.
Much hast thou seen, nor all canst understand- 455

But this be thy best omen Save thy Countiy ! '
Thus saying, from the answering Maid he passed,
And with him disappeared the heavenly Vision.

'Glory to Thee, Father of Earth and Heaven !
All-conscious Presence of the Universe ! 460

1 The Apollo Belvedere.

a The Slaves in the West-India Islands consider Death as a passport
to their native country. The Sentiment is thus expressed in tho
Introduction to a Greek Prize Ode on the Slave-Trade, of which

434 with] by 4.

437-8 Shriek'd AMBITION'S ghastly throng

And with them those the locust Fiends that crawl'd * 4 n .

* if Locusts how could they shriek ? I must have caught the contagion
of unthinkingness. S. T. C. 4.

458 heavenly] goodly 4.


Nature's vast ever-acting Energy ! l

In will, in deed, Impulse of All to All !

Whether thy Love with unrefracted ray

Beam on the Prophet's purged eye, or if

Diseasing realms the Enthusiast, wild of thought, 465

Scatter new frenzies on the infected throng,

Thou both inspiring and predooming both,

the Ideas are belter than the Language or Metre, in which they are
conveyed :

'fl axuTOv iri/Aas, Qdvare, npo\tlir<uv
Es yevos ffTTtvSots vwo^ev^Oti' "A.ra*'
Gv {fVia&Tjcri ftvvcav ai
Ov5' o

'AXXa Kal Ki/xXoiai \opon\i-noiai
Kaff/xdrcoi' xapa.' <po/3ep&s ptv icrai,
AAA.* 6( 'E\(vOep'ta ffvroticfis,
liipavvt !

Aa<r('o(S (irl rrfpuytaffi cr^fft
A ! OaXdaatov KaOopuivres oio/xa
A.iO(pon\dyKTOis viro iroffff' dvftfft

iir' atav,

"Ev6a fj.av 'Epacrrat '
Afitpi irrj-fTjffit' Knpivcav VIT
~Oaa' vno fipoTois tira&ov Pporoi, rd

AfiKl \(~fOVTl.

* o before ^' ought to have been made long ; Soil inrd^ is an Amphimaccr
not (as the metre here requires) a Dactyl. S. T.


Leaving the gates of Darkness, Death ! hasten thou to a Race yoked
to Misery ! Thou wilt not be received with lacerations of Cheeks, nor
with funereal ululation, but with circling Dances and the joy of Songs.
Thou art terrible indeed, yet thou dwellest with LIBERTY, stern GENIUS!
Borne on thy dark pinions over the swelling of Ocean they return to their
native country. There by the side of fountains beneath Citron groves, the
Lovers tell to their Beloved, what horrors, being Men, they had endured
from Men.

1 Tho' these Lines may bear a sane sense, yet they are easily, and
more naturally interpreted with a very false and dangerous one. But
I was at that time one of the Mongrels, the Josephidites [Josephides =
the Son of Joseph], a proper name of distinction from those who believe
in, as well as believe Christ the only begotten Son of the Living God
before all Time. MS. Note ly S. T. C.

463 Love] Law 4.


Fit instruments and best, of perfect end :
Glory to Thee, Father of Earth and Heaven!'

And first a landscape rose 470

More wild and waste and desolate than where
The white bear, drifting on a field of ice,
Howls to her sundered cubs with piteous rage
And savage agony.


From an unpublished poem.

THE early Year's fast-flying vapours stray
In shadowing trains across the orb of day :
And we, poor Insects of a few short hours,

Deem it a world of Gloom.

Were it not better hope a nobler doom, 5

Proud to believe that with more active powers

On rapid many-coloured wing

We thro' one bright perpetual Spring
Shall hover round the fruits and flowers,
Screen'd by those clouds and cherish'd by those showers ! 10


SWEET flower ! that peeping from thy russet stem

Unfoldest timidly, (for in strange sort

This dark, frieze -coated, hoarse, teeth-chattering month

1 First published without title (' From an unpublished poem ') in The
Watchman, No. iv, March 25, 1796, and reprinted in Literary Remains, 1836,
i. 44, with an extract from the Essay in the Watchman in which it was
included : ' In my calmer moments I have the firmest faith that all
things work together for good. But alas ! it seems a long and dark
process.' First collected with extract only in Appendix to 1863. First
entitled 'Fragment from an Unpublished Poem' in 1893, and 'Ver
Perpetuum ' in 1907.

a First published in The Watchman, No. vi, April 11, 1796: included in
1797, 1803, Sibylline Leaves, 1817, 1828, 1829, and 1834.

For lines 470-74 vide ante var. of lines 130 foil.

On observing, &c. Title] Lines on observing, &c., Written near Sheffield,
Watchman, 1797, 1803.


Hath borrow'd Zephyr's voice, and gazed upon thee
With blue voluptuous eye) alas, poor Flower! 5

These are but flatteries of the faithless year.
Perchance, escaped its unknown polar cave,
Even now the keen North-East is on its way.
Flower that must perish ! shall I liken thee
To some sweet girl of too too rapid growth 10

Nipp'd by consumption mid untimely charms?
Or to Bristowa's bard, 1 the wondrous boy !
An amaranth, which earth scarce seem'd to own,
Till disappointment came, and pelting wrong
Beat it to earth? or with indignant grief 15

Shall I compare thee to poor Poland's hope,
Bright flower of hope killed in the opening bud ?
Farewell, sweet blossom! better fate be thine
And mock my boding ! Dim similitudes
Weaving in moi-al strains, I've stolen one hour zo

From anxious Self, Life's cruel taskmaster !
And the warm wooings of this sunny day
Tremble along my frame and harmonize
The attempered organ, that even saddest thoughts
Mix with some sweet sensations, like harsh tunes 25

Played deftly on a soft-toned instrument.



Nitens et roboris espers
Turget et insolida est : et spe delectat.

OVID, Metam. [xv. 203].

THY smiles I note, sweet early Flower,
That peeping from thy rustic bower
The festive news to earth dost bring,
A fragrant messenger of Spring.

1 Chatterton.

2 First published in The Watchman, No. viii, April 27, 1796: reprinted
in Literary Remains, 1836, i. 47. First collected in Appendix to 1863.

5 With ' blue voluptuous eye ' 1803. Between 13 and 14 Blooming

mid Poverty's drear wintry waste Watchman, 1'97, 1S03, S. L., 1817, 1828.
1 6 hope] hopes, Watchman.

21 From black anxiety that gnaws my heart.

For her who droops far off on a sick bed. Watchman, 1797, 1803.

24 Th' attempered 'brain, that ev'n the saddest thoughts Watchman,
1797, 1803.

To a Primrose. Motto : et] at L. R., App. 1863.


But, tender blossom, why so pale? 5

Dost hear stern Winter in the gale?
And didst thou tempt the ungentle sky
To catch one vernal glance and die ?

Such the wan lustre Sickness wears

When Health's first feeble beam appears ; 10

So languid are the smiles that seek

To settle on the care-worn cheek,

When timorous Hope the head uprears,

Still drooping and still moist with tears,

If, through dispersing grief, be seen 15

Of Bliss the heavenly spark serene.

And sweeter far the early blow,
Fast following after storms of Woe,
Than (Comfort's riper season come)

Are full-blown joys and Pleasure's gaudy bloom. 20




BRITONS ! when last ye met, with distant streak

So faintly promis'd the pale Dawn to break ;

So dim it stain'd the precincts of the Sky

E'en Expectation gaz'd with doubtful Eye.

But now such fair Varieties of Light 5

O'ertake the heavy sailing Clouds of Night ;

Th* Horizon kindles with so rich a red,

That tho' the Sun still hides his glorious head

Th' impatient Matin -bird, assured of Day,

Leaves his low nest to meet its earliest ray ; 10

Loud the sweet song of Gratulation sings,

And high in air claps his rejoicing wings !

Patriot and Sage ! whose breeze-like Spirit first

The lazy mists of Pedantry dispers'd

1 First printed in the Transactions of the Philobiblon Society. First
published in P. W., 1893. The verses (without the title) were sent by
Coleridge in a letter to the Rev. J. P. Estlin, dated July 4, [1796].

17-20 om. L. K., App, 1863.


(Mists in which Superstition's pigmy band 15

Seem'd Giant Forms, the Genii of the Land !),
Thy struggles soon shall wak'ning Britain bless,
And Truth and Freedom hail thy wish'd success.
Yes Tooke ! tho' foul Corruption's wolfish throng
Outmalice Calumny's imposthum'd Tongue, ao

Thy Country's noblest and determined Choice,
Soon shalt thou thrill the Senate with thy voice ;
With gradual Dawn bid Error's phantoms flit,
Or wither with the lightning's flash of Wit ;
Or with sublimer mien and tones more deep, 35

Charm sworded Justice from mysterious Sleep,
' By violated Freedom's loud Lament,
Her Lamps extinguish'd and her Temple rent ;
By the forc'd tears her captive Martyrs shed ;
By each pale Orphan's feeble cry for bread ; 30

By ravag'd Belgium's corse-impeded Flood,
And Vendee steaming still with brothers' blood ! '
And if amid the strong impassion'd Tale,
Thy Tongue should falter and thy Lips turn pale ;
If transient Darkness film thy aweful Eye, 35

And thy tir'd Bosom struggle with a sigh :
Science and Freedom shall demand to hear
Who practis'd on a Life so doubly dear ;
Infus'd the unwholesome anguish drop by drop,
Pois'ning the sacred stream they could not stop ! 40

Shall bid thee with recover'd strength relate
How dark and deadly is a Coward's Hate:
What seeds of death by wan Confinement sown,
When Prison-echoes mock'd Disease's groan !
Shall bid th' indignant Father flash dismay, 45

And drag the unnatural Villain into Day
Who ' to the sports of his flesh'd Ruffians left
Two lovely Mourners of their Sire bereft !
'Twas wrong, like this, which Rome's first Consul bore,
So by th' insulted Female's name lie swore 50

Ruin (and rais'd her reeking dagger high)
Not to the Tyrants but the Tyranny !

1 ' Dundas left thief-takers in Home Tooke's House for three days,
with his two Daughters alone: for Home Tooke keeps no servant.' -
S. T. C. to Estlin.

31, 32 These lines are borrowed from the firbt edition (4) of the Ode
to the Departing Year.





I SIGH, fair injur'd stranger ! for thy fate ;

But what shall sighs avail thee ? thy poor heart,
'Mid all the 'pomp and circumstance' of state,

Shivers in nakedness. Unbidden, start

Sad recollections of Hope's garish dream, 5

That shaped a seraph form, and named it Love,

Its hues gay-varying, as the orient beam
Varies the neck of Cytherea's dove.

To one soft accent of domestic joy

Poor are the shouts that shake the high-arch'd dome; to
Those plaudits that thy public path annoy,

Alas ! they tell thee Thou'rt a wretch at home !

then retire, and weep ! Their very woes
Solace the guiltless. Drop the pearly flood

On thy sweet infant, as the full-blown rose, 15

Surcharged with dew, bends o'er its neighbouring bud.

And ah! that Truth some holy spell might lend
To lure thy Wanderer from the Syren's power ;

Then bid your souls inseparably blend

Like two bright dew-drops meeting in a flower. 20




WHEN they did greet me father, sudden awe
Weigh'd down my spirit : I ret ired and knelt
Seeking the throne of grace, but inly felt

1 First published in the Monthly Magazine, September 1796, vol.^ ii,
p. 647, reprinted in Felix Farley's Bristol Journal, Saturday, Oct. 8, 1796,
and in the Poetical Register, 1806-7 [1811, vol. vi, p. 365]. First collected
in P. and D. W., 1877, i. 187. The lines were sent in a letter to Estlin,
dated July 4, 1796.

* First published in tho 'Biographical Supplement to the Biographia
Literaria, 1847, ii. 379. First collected in P. and D. W., 1S77-SO. This

On a Late, &c. Title] To an Unfortunate Princess MS. Letter, July 4, 179G.

17 might] could MS. Letter, 1796. 18 thy] the Felix Farley's, c.

20 meeting] bosomed MS. Letter, 1796.

Sonnet on receiving, &c. Title] Sonnet written on receiving letter inform-
ing me of the birth of a son, I being at Birmingham MS. Letter, Nov. 1, 1796.


No heavenly visitation upwards draw

My feeble mind, nor cheering ray impart. 5

Ah me ! before the Eternal Sire I brought

Th' unquiet silence of confused thought
And shapeless feelings: my o'erwhelmed heart
Trembled, and vacant tears stream'd down my face.
And now once more, O Lord ! to thee I bend, 10

Lover of souls ! and groan for future grace,
That ere my babe youth's perilous maze have trod,

Thy overshadowing Spirit may descend,

And he be born again, a child of God.
Sept. 20, 179G.



SEPT. 20, 179G

OFT o'er my brain does that strange fancy roll

Which makes the present (while the flash doth last)
Seem a mere semblance of some unknown past,
Mixed with such feelings, as perplex the soul
Self-questioned in her sleep ; and some have said 2 5

and the two succeeding sonnets were enclosed in a letter to Poole, dated
November 1, 179G. A note was affixed to the sonnet 'On Receiving', &c. :
'This sonnet puts in no claim to poetry (indeed as a composition I think

Online LibrarySamuel Taylor ColeridgePoetical works, including poems and versions of poems herein published for the first time, edited with textual and bibliographical notes → online text (page 14 of 50)